HEALTHY MOUTH HEALTHY BODY Resource Center | Learn how severe gum disease could increase certain health risks.
Healthy Mouth Healthy Body - Other Conditions

Smoking has long been considered a strong risk factor for the development of periodontitis.** Smoking impairs the blood flow to the periodontal tissues, which prevents the body from mounting an effective immune response to periodontal bacteria, and which also inhibits tissue healing after the periodontitis has been treated. A recent study examined the effect of quitting smoking on a group of patients who were to undergo non-surgical treatment of periodontitis. The investigators reported that the patients who had quit smoking had improved healing and improved periodontal pocket probing depths when compared to patients who had not quit smoking.

To learn more about spit tobacco, click on the link above for an article from the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.

To learn more about lightening teeth and removing stains, click on the link above for an article from InteliHealth, Inc.

Article: Lightening Teeth and Removing Stains

Back To Top


A growing body of evidence suggests that severe chronic gum disease (periodontitis**) during pregnancy is associated with pre-term delivery and low birth weight in babies. A recent study compared the oral health status of over 80 women who delivered babies pre-term with that of 120 women who delivered babies at approximately the estimated due date. The researchers found that the women who delivered early had a higher level of severe chronic gum disease than the women who delivered normally. Severe chronic gum disease was also associated with lower birth weight. The relationship suggests that poor oral health during pregnancy can impact the gestation period as well as the weight of the baby at the time of delivery.

To learn more about women and gum disease, click on the link above from the American Dental Association.

Article: Women and Gum Disease

Back To Top


Residents of long-term care facilities are often at a greater risk of developing respiratory diseases, such as pneumonia. Poor oral hygiene has been suggested as one possible reason for this development. It is believed that bacteria which can cause respiratory disease are present in dental plaque. Previous studies have demonstrated a reduced incidence of respiratory disease development in patients who had daily oral hygiene performed while in long-term care facilities. A recent study examined the levels of respiratory pathogens present in the dental plaque of patients in a long-term care facility. The investigators found that the dental plaque can be a source of respiratory pathogens, and suggest that oral hygiene protocols be instituted to reduce the development of respiratory disease in this population of patients.

Back To Top


Periodontitis** and rheumatoid arthritis are very similar in that both are inflammatory in nature and result in tissue damage and loss. It has been hypothesized that these similarities may provide an association between the two diseases, in that periodontitis** may influence rheumatoid arthritis and vice-versa. A recent study examined what impact treatment of periodontitis* would have on rheumatoid arthritis by measuring the level of biochemical and clinical markers in patients who have both diseases. The results indicate that treatment of periodontitis* may have an effect on the clinical and biochemical markers of rheumatoid arthritis.

Back To Top

Colgate® Total - The most Advanced toothpaste from Colgate® for your Superior Oral Health

* The ADA Council on Scientific Affairs' Acceptance of Colgate Total® toothpaste is based on its finding that the product is effective in helping to prevent and reduce tooth decay, gingivitis, plaque above the gumline and bad breath when used as directed.

** Colgate Total® is approved by the FDA to aid in the prevention of cavities, plaque and gingivitis. It has not been approved for the prevention or treatment of periodontitis or other diseases. Emerging research shows that there is an association between periodontitis and certain systemic diseases. A cause and effect relationship has not been established.